I’m in process of moving. Thankfully I have the summer months to fully complete the task, and so each day holds just a bit of packing, organizing, and deleting stuff.

When all is said and done, my seven pieces of furniture and my twenty-or-so boxes of long-term storage will tuck nicely away at my folks place.

I’ve been working on downsizing a long time now. Intentionally learning to live with less my life is increasingly freed up to more.

More relationships, more blessing, more ministry, more writing, more of nimbleness and ease of movement as the Holy Spirit directs.

I’m gearing up for full-time overseas ministry. Something for which I’ve been preparing for thirteen years now.

Here in the west we are dying of stuff. I’ve written about it before as I’ve been on a minimalist kick for some time. With a vision bigger than the things I own or the house I live in I just can’t imagine being under the curse of possessions anymore.

But it hasn’t always been this way. I was a consumer with the best of them. A decorator with excellence. Always looking to make just this corner or that wall just right.

Like most of us I took comfort and found security in my stuff, my home, my things. Thankfully the Lord broke me of all that.

A few years ago there was a time that I lived on a mattress on the floor of a small room. I had a foot of space to one side of the mattress and about three feet at one end. That was the amount of space I could call my own for some nine months time.

What a gift that time turned out to be. I’ve never been the same since.

I came to find that home is in my heart and that I can take it with me anywhere.

I came to find that God meets me no matter my circumstances.

I came to find that stuff simply binds us.

In fact, I am convinced, that stuff keeps us from finding home in our hearts.

The hunger we might experience for justice, for work greater than ourselves, for impact beyond our own worlds, are quite expediently silenced and satiated with our stuff. And it sickens me.

We are so lost here in North America – so lost.

Meanwhile we send our stuff overseas, thinking that they need the same numbness that we have come to know, and we’ve got it all backwards. Turned upside down and we don’t even know it.

My trips to Africa are some of the most relaxing times of my life. With my possessions on my back, my care in the hands of those I visit, simplicity of fellowship has no requisites or fancy packaging.

The simplest of spaces, a few sheets, a wool blanket, an old pillow, a bucket for bathing, make for the richest of times.

Meals are simple, beauty is different. Home is found in the heart of others and comfort comes from the inside out.

Ezekiel, speaking of Sodom and Gomorrah says this, “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” (16:49 ESV)

I don’t know about you, but this applies to me, and most everyone I know here in North America.

Think about it. Let it break you. Come under its conviction. May it change your life.

For myself, I just can`t do this anymore. While it`s been some years of changing and shifting and seeing with fresh eyes, and while there will be more of the same to come, I can`t imagine going back to a life consumed with comfort.

I gave enough of my years to that idol. It`s time for other things now.

Find out about the work I do around the world HERE

2 thoughts

  1. Great article! Just yesterday I went through my drawers/attic/kitchen and in fact put a number of things in my car to give away to the people I see at Tenth Church who are living in poverty. Items such as clothes, cook books, kitchen extras, blankets, summer nick-nacks, books, roller blades, etc…. To down size and give away feels great; how much does one need any ways? Bless you my dear!

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